In March of this year, I received the following communication from Beekman 1802:
We are always trying to think of ways to elevate the status of the artisans that work with Beekman 1802, and this year we thought we might try a unique approach.
Our holiday theme is “Special Deliveries”, and we want to incorporate one-of-a-kind pieces from as many upstate NY artisans as possible.
For artisans who have worked with Beekman, we’d like this to be an opportunity for you to show off the very height of your capabilities and artistic ambitions. You can create something new or if you have a previously-completed piece that represents the pinnacle of your work, we could use this as well. We intend to create a “Special Deliveries” gallery in the upstairs of the Mercantile during the holiday season, and these works will also be featured for sale in our holiday newsletters.
OK, we all know I am not in upstate NY, but I needn’t have to tell you that this was exciting news! To have the opportunity to make something that not only lets my imagination run wild but gives me the chance to create my very best work is a dream come true. And not something that comes down the pike very often…if ever.
My immediate thought was to make a very grand and completely over-the-top centerpiece. How, I had no idea but I figured it would come to me. So I said yes!
A couple of months later, I was asked to submit my idea visually with a sketch. I had spent a lot of time thinking about this project and, in a stroke of great luck, had found a huge silver-plate piece that I felt would be perfect for the base. After that, I envisioned the final product. I planned on putting a huge ball on top of the base, covered in those fabulous “Fauxbergé” (otherwise known as satin pin art) balls, with a long tree topper, and lots of garland dripping off of it.
Here is the sketch I submitted:
Fortunately, they loved my idea.
I made the piece, which I titled “At the Fauxbergé Ball,” in August and delivered it when I went up for Harvest Fest in September, along with the wreath that I made for the Mercantile for Holiday.
It was a real challenge to make because I had to get the mechanics of how it all would fit together figured out. This was a process I thoroughly enjoyed. Because it was so large, I wanted to make it so it would come apart fairly easily for storage. And so, I made it in 3 pieces: the base, the ball, and the topper. Additionally, it is made of all unbreakable pieces, except for the huge topper, which is glass.
The finished piece is just a couple of inches shy of 4 FEET TALL!!
And here it is:
I have to admit that I am really proud of it.
So, tomorrow, November 2nd, is the opening of the exhibit. In total, there are 35 works by artists/artisans (some of whom have become my friends through Beekman 1802) who have submitted their best work for this project. How I wish I could be there to see everything!
For those of us who cannot attend, Beekman 1802 will be doing a FACEBOOK LIVE about 5PM – before the exhibit officially opens! I, for one, am going to be parked in front of my computer! Will you join me?
This is the invitation that was sent out:
Since its beginning 10 years ago, Beekman 1802 has always championed the work of artists in our region and across New York State. From weavers to blacksmiths and every type of trade in between, their work has been featured with over 300 talented artisans over the past decade.
To celebrate this decade of fine details, the original artisans (and even a few new ones) were asked to make a Special Delivery to Sharon Springs, creating a one-of-a-kind piece that represented the best of what they can do or that pushed their craft to the next level. This holiday season, the second floor of the Beekman 1802 Mercantile has been turned into the “Special Delivery Heirloom Collection” exhibit featuring over 35 exceptional pieces on display.
The public is invited to an exclusive opening celebration of the Special Delivery Heirloom Collection exhibit on November 2nd from 630pm – 10pm and enjoy hearty appetizers, signature cocktails, and even an opportunity to decorate your very own Goat-Shaped Cookies from Chef Adam Foti! (and there are some shopping specials that feature signature artisan stylings to help fill holiday stockings).
The exhibit will run through the first week of January 2020.
The Beekman 1802 Mercantile is located at 187 Main Street in Sharon Springs, NY.
These are the participating artists:
Cackie Trippe McCarty
Adelphi Paper Hangings
The Farm House Project – Shawn and Kris
Facture Goods – Aron Fischer
Rita Seiko Payne
October Design – Stephanie Reppas
Betty Fikes Pillsbury
If you get the chance to go by the Mercantile and see the exhibit during its run, I hope you will thoroughly enjoy it. And, if you think to take some pictures to send to me, I would be eternally grateful!